State Mining and Mineral Museum
5005 Fairgrounds Dr.- 209-742-7625 Located at the fairgrounds
on Hwy. 49. Housed in a building with a model of a stamp mill
and a mining tunnel burrowed into the hillside, you will find
one of the largest exhibits of gems, fossils, and minerals in
the world. You will see over 20,000 unique specimens, many of
which were discovered during the mid and late 1800's, now donated
to the state for safekeeping and for the enjoyment and education
of the public. See California Meteorites, Historic Mining Artifacts,
Benitoite - The State Gemstone, California Diamonds and gems and
minerals from around the world. The highlight of the gold exhibit
is the Fricot Nugget, one of the finest and largest specimens
of native gold in existence weighing 201.40 troy ounces. Exhibits
change frequently, making a return trip to the museum well worth
your while. Admission: $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for seniors 60
and up and students and children 14 to 18. Children under 13 are
free. Hours: Summer; daily 10am - 6pm, except Tuesdays. Winter;
Wednesday-Sunday 10am - 4pm.
County History Museum - 5119 Jessie St. - 209-966-2924
The museum was founded in 1957 and considered one of the best
small museums in America by the Smithsonian Institute. You will
find the people and life style in Mariposa County from the Indian
and Spanish periods to the infamous California Gold Rush as well
as the recent past are portrayed with great authenticity. You
will see original documents, artifacts and artwork. Gold displays
and Native American baskets are just a few items to enjoy. On
display is a large stamp mill, a typical one room miner's cabin
and displays of the life style of the West's most famous explorer
and Mariposa County resident, John C. Fremont, and his wife, Jessie.
There is a docent to answer questions and you can arrange for
a private tour for your group. Donations are accepted. Hours:
January - closed; February and March - weekends 10am - 4pm; April
through October - daily 10am - 4pm; November and December - weekends
10am - 4pm.
County Courthouse - information: 209- 966-2456.
A State of California Historical Landmark (No. 670), and the oldest
courthouse in continuos use west of the Rockies and the third
oldest in the nation as well as being on the National Register
of Historical Places. The courthouse was built in 1854 and you
can still find the original furnishings in the upstairs courtroom,
where the room still shakes when the clock tower strikes the time.
Still in use as the judicial seat of Mariposa, the building is
open to the public. Tours are available on Sat. and Sun. during
the months of May through Sept. Donations are accepted. Call the
Chamber of Commerce for information.
Joseph's Catholic Church - built in 1863.
of the oldest jails in California - built in 1859 with natural
granite stones. The jail was used once in 1960. You will find
a receiving area and four cells in this Mariposa Jail.
Warehouse - built in 1866.
Hotel - built in 1866.
Office - old newspaper in continued publication in California.
Ophir - Private mint coined $50.00 gold slugs in 1850's.
Walking Tour - pick up a map at the Mariposa Visitors Bureau
and take a self guided tour to the many buildings featured on
the National Register of Historic Places.
If you want to see an example of an authentic California gold
rush town, then visit Coulterville, designated as State Historical
Landmark No. 332. Coulterville has changed very little since the
turn of the century. The Hotel Jeffery and Magnolia Saloon are
still family owned and operated and have been since 1851. Be sure
and visit the Northern Mariposa County History Center. The museum
tells the history of Coulterville and descendants of the early
day pioneers have donated family items and historical documents.
The only town in the County to ever be incorporated, Hornitos
was established in 1848 or 1849. Because the ground was very hard
and rocky, when someone died they were buried above ground in
tombs made of rock and adobe that resembled little outdoor ovens.
The Mexicans referred to them as " hornitos" the Spanish work
for little ovens.Hornitos had a tumultuous reputation in the mid
1800's, the notorious bandit, Joaquin Murietta, was a frequent
visitor to this wild west town. Today you can see reminders of
the past in the now peaceful town. Many historic buildings still
stand for your pleasure, Domingo Ghiradelli's chocolate
store built in 1885, the old jail and St. Catherine's Catholic
Church and cemetery, built before 1869, viewing the town from
atop a hill.
You can still find people prospecting today for the abundance
of gold undiscovered from the many gold mines during the 1800's.
During the 1800's Greeley Hill was a stage stop for the stagecoach
on its way to Yosemite. One of the first highways to Yosemite
was built nearby to accommodate the popular automobiles.
Home to Col. John C. Fremont, who made and lost his fortune
in gold. You will see many historical buildings still in use today.
National Park - a must see when visiting Mariposa County.
breathtaking beauty, awesome water falls and experience the many
activities available to everyone of all ages. Things To Do - Morning
Nature Hike, Flashlight Hike,
Waterfall Hike, Lead Horse Corral Ride, Easy Forest Ride(Horseback),
Challenging Forest Ride(Horseback), Mariposa Grove Ride(Horseback),
Fly Fishing, Fishing, Camp Tenaya, Mountain Biking, White Water
Rafting, Bird Watching, Jamboree Cookout, Moonlight Special, Jazz
at Yosemite, Fitness Center, Photo Walk, Rock Climbing, Guided
Day Hike, Bloomin' Great Wildflower Hikes, Video Arcade, Children's
Hike, Gold Panning, Wagon Rides, High Country 4-Wheelin'